Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Gary Sinise in Public Service Ad for VA Suicide Prevention

VA To Test Suicide Public Service Ads
The VA Is Stepping Up It's Suicide Prevention Outreach With A Public Service Announcement Featuring Actor Gary Sinise.

July 14, 2008
CBS) CBS News Investigative producer Pia Malbran wrote this story for


July 15 Update: During a Congressional hearing today on Capitol Hill, the Department of Veterans Affairs unveiled a new suicide prevention PSA. CBS News has obtained a copy of the clip. Click on the video box to the left to watch it. Rep. Harry Mitchell said that the VA’s “self-imposed ban against television advertising” that has been in place until recently was “outdated and out of touch.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is expected to launch a suicide prevention public service campaign in Washington, DC next week as part of a three-month pilot program.

CBS News has learned that the VA will roll out the campaign on July 21 which will include a series of bus advertisements as well as more than 300 ads inside DC commuter trains and at metro train stations.

The agency has also produced a television public service announcement featuring actor Gary Sinise who portrayed a disabled veteran in the 1994 movie “Forrest Gump”. A spokesperson for Sinise confirmed his participation.

The pilot program is intended to raise awareness of suicide prevention and spread the word about the VA’s 24-hour suicide prevention hotline. CBS News has learned the ads will show a silhouette of a soldier kneeling in front of an American flag with the message: “it takes the courage and strength of a warrior to ask for help. If you or someone you know is in an emotional crisis call 1-800-273-TALK.”
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Gary Sinise has done a lot for veterans. It's great to see him doing this. The ad is short but gets right to the point. Pray it works to help the wounded reach out for help and pray they are there to answer the phone.